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Schools to add security access points

Board of education members voted to reallocate Phase I E-SPLOST expenditures to delay paving to first add security access points at the primary and elementary schools at their April 9 meeting. ’This is going to ensure our schools are a lot more secure for our smaller children,’ said board member Ryan Edge. ‘This is a proactive approach to move some things around to make it a priority to keep our students safer.’ Board members also heard from Athletic Director of the Year coach Mark Andrews about Pike County schools’ placement in the Director’s Cup Final Standings. ’We’ve had good advancement for our first year in AAA,’ he said. ‘We’re doing really well on the field and in the classroom.’ He said there are around 439 participants in school sports but that number is elevated because it includes athletes who play multiple sports. He said players have an overall average GPA of above 3.0 with 99% of seniors graduating. Athletic scholarships have been accepted by 21 students and another 35 have received academic-athletic scholarships. ’Our fields are in really good shape. We added a cheerleading practice facility and our stadium is now handicap accessible,’ he said. ‘Our softball team made it to the Elite 8, cross country won the region, we made it to third in the region in football, basketball won the first game of the playoffs and for the first time hosted the state playoffs, baseball has clinched the region and the tennis, golf and girls soccer teams are seeded No. 1 in the region.’ Andrews said the E-SPLOST will fund renovations to the tennis courts and the track. He asked the board to consider funding for renovating the visitors stands at the football fields and adding restrooms in the stadium and at the softball fields. The board also: ’¢ Heard Junior Beta Club middle school student Zoey Mann present her essay ‘Heart of Beta’ which earned her first place at the state competition. Three students, including Mann, will present their essays at the National competition in June. ’¢ Heard from financial director Kenneth Carter that at the 75% point of the budget year, the school system has expended 73.3% of its budget and is right on target for the year. ’¢ Made changes to the board policy on professional personal leaves and absences to include better definitions and change the bereavement policy so days missed don’t count against annual leave.

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